Intracavernous self-injection with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and phentolamine in the management of erectile failure

J Urol. 1992 May;147(5):1277-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)37541-9.


A total of 52 men, median age 55 years (range 28 to 74 years), with erectile failure was treated with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and phentolamine. Impotence was classified as psychogenic in 3 patients, psychogenic/arteriogenic in 3, arteriogenic in 25, arteriogenic/neurogenic in 4, neurogenic in 5, venous leakage/psychogenic in 2, venous leakage/neurogenic in 1 and following venous leak surgery in 9. The patients were treated with 30 micrograms vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and 0.5 to 2.0 mg. phentolamine. A total of 1,380 self-injections was given and the number of injections per patient varied from 5 to 245. No patient had priapism, corporeal fibrosis or other serious complications. After sexual stimulation all patients obtained erection sufficient for penetration. Following ejaculation rigidity decreased normally. The median duration of treatment was 6 months (range 1 to 22). Nine patients discontinued treatment. One patient with severe arteriosclerosis experienced decreased effectiveness of the drug and received a penile prosthesis. Five patients elected not to perform self-injection any longer, 1 psychogenic impotent patient was cured, and 1 patient discontinued therapy due to palpitation and sweating. One patient died of a myocardial infarction not associated with this therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phentolamine / administration & dosage*
  • Phentolamine / therapeutic use
  • Self Administration
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / administration & dosage*
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / therapeutic use


  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Phentolamine